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posted: 1/28/2012 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Small steps matter

Angered that insurance wouldn't cover a $3,200 genetic test, breast cancer survivor Sharon Hower of Itasca did more than get angry. She started a nonprofit that raises money for poor women who need the test. Her fundraiser is at 7:30 p.m. today at the Pyramid Club. Last year she provided tests for two women. Small potatoes? Not to the two women.

Stranger danger

A story about an arrest in a scam in Lake Zurich underscores the need to be careful when strangers come to the door. In this case, the homeowner was lured outside, which enabled others to enter the house. Jewelry and rare coins were stolen. Authorities say don't let strangers into your home, ask for an ID and, when in doubt, call police.

No cause?

The Cook County medical examiner, we are told, can be fired only for cause. Just wondering, but what is it when hundreds of bodies are mishandled, the office is in utter disarray and the Cook County board president essentially has to reorganize the operation?

Consider reform

And if finding cause is so difficult that hiring a medical examiner is, as a county spokesman said, the virtual equivalent of a judge's lifetime appointment, clearly something structural needs to be done with that position.

Funny lady

The past year's been an amazing one for Plainfield's Melissa McCarthy. She won an Emmy, was dubbed the Queen of Comedy by Entertainment Weekly and now is up for an Oscar for her role in the hit comedy "Bridesmaids." The best supporting actress category is a tough one this year, but it's great to see a local talent get such recognition. Way to go.

Really necessary?

We're all for careful budgeting, but we have to sympathize with thousands of Elk Grove Township residents being shut out of library services because the Schaumburg Township Library District won't renew a tax-sharing agreement. The library is a treasure, and with no funding crisis foreseen, it seems a shame people who've come to count on it won't have access.

Picture this:

In 2008, Felicia Reinhard, 20, of Arlington Heights started Inspiration Through Art, a nonprofit network that seeks to brighten the lives of kids with serious illnesses by hooking them up with photographers for complimentary photo shoots. For kids who don't survive, she preserves beautiful memories for their parents. What a wonderful thing.

Bon appetit:

He was dressed like Popeye but ate like Wimpy. Can't you hear that whiny voice hounding Alex Rothacker as he chowed through a record eating challenge at Bulldogs Grill in Grayslake? "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a four-and-a-half-pound hamburger today." Truly impressive, Alex. But the real Popeye would have focused on spinach.

Start somewhere

Lawmakers, it's called low-hanging fruit. We've previously urged a moratorium, at least, on legislative scholarships. Last week, others proposed ending stipends for committee chairs and selling state cars that aren't being used. You previously cut your pay, and that was important, but there's still plenty more available. They're not big tickets, but worth getting out of the way.

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